Most famous 10 haiku poems in Japanese and English

In the 17th century, Haikai poetry which had the theme of fun and humor, entered the realm of literary arts. Matsuo Basho (1644-1694) introduced the spirit of Sabi into the poetry and enhanced it to an art.

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Though there are countless haiku poems, I would show you 10 most famous poems. Please enjoy them!




1.古池や 蛙飛び込む 水の音

Author: Matsuo Basho

[Japanese]

古池や 蛙飛び込む 水の音

Furuike ya/ Kawazu tobikomu/ Mizu no oto

[English]

The old pond

A frog leaps in.

Sound of the water.

*What is the meaning of this frog and pond haiku poem?

2.春の海 ひねもすのたり のたりかな

Author: Yosa Buson

[Japanese]

春の海 ひねもすのたり のたりかな

Haruno-umi Hinemosu-Notari Notarikana

[English]

Spring ocean

Swaying gently

All day long.

Translated by Miura Diane and Miura Seiichiro

3.痩蛙 負けるな一茶 是にあり

Author: Kobayashi Issa

[Japanese]

痩蛙 負けるな一茶 是にあり

Yase gaeru/Makeruna Issa kore ni ari

[English]

Skinny frog,

Don’t get beaten!

Issa is here

4.菜の花や 月は東に 日は西に

Author: Yosa Buson

[Japanese]

菜の花や 月は東に 日は西に

Na-no-hana ya/ Tsuki ha higashi ni/ Hi wa nishi ni

[English]

The canola flowers.

The moon is in the eastern sky.

The sun is in the western sky.

5.閑けさや 岩にしみいる 蝉の声

Author: Matsuo Basho

[Japanese]

閑けさや 岩にしみいる 蝉の声

Shizukesa ya/ Iwa ni shimiiru/ Semi no koe

[English]

Oh, tranquility!

Penetrating the very rock,

A cicada’s voice.

Translated by Helen Craig Mccullough

*The haiku poem at Risshakuji Temple, Yamagata Prefecture.

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6.柿くへば 鐘が鳴るなり 法隆寺

Author: Masaoka Shiki

[Japanese]

柿くへば 鐘が鳴るなり 法隆寺

Kaki kueba/ Kane ga naru nari/ Horyuji

[English]

When I ate a persimmon

The bell rung

The Horyuji temple

 

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7.目には青葉 山ほとゝぎす はつ松魚

Author: Yamaguchi Sodo

[Japanese]

目には青葉 山ほとゝぎす はつ松魚

Me ni wa aoba/Yama hototogisu/Hatsu gatsuo

[English]

The green leaves for eyes

The little cuckoo in the mountain

The first bonito of the season

 
 

8.降る雪や 明治は遠く なりにけり

Author: Nakamura Kusatao

[Japanese]

降る雪や 明治は遠く なりにけり

Furu yuki ya/Meiji wa toku /Nari ni keri

[English]

The snow is falling.

The Meiji era got

Further away.

 
 

9.朝顔に 釣瓶とられて もらひ水

Author: Kaga Chiyome

[Japanese]

朝顔に 釣瓶とられて もらひ水

Asagao ni/Tsurube torare te/Morai mizu

[English]

The well-bucket is

Taken by the morning glory

Going to a neighbour for water.

 
 

10.梅一輪 一輪ほどの 暖かさ

Author: Hattori Ransetsu

[Japanese]

梅一輪 一輪ほどの 暖かさ

Ume ichi rin/Ichi rin hodo no /Atatakasa

[English]

A single plum blossom

It is warm

As a single

 
 









Basho’s haiku poems

The haiku poems of the famous haiku poets